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How Much Is Laser Tattoo Removal?

Do you want to know how much is laser tattoo removal? You’ve come to the right place. This article will guide you through the overall cost of laser tattoo removal.

Laser technology offers a non-surgical approach towards getting rid of tattoo ink, although the process can become uncomfortable. It works to remove tattoo ink through highly concentrated colored light beams. These beams break up the ink particles into tiny fragments. These fragments are then cleaned up by the body’s scavenging cells. Laser tattoo removal requires multiple sessions depending on several factors such as the ink level, the color of the tattoo, the age of the tattoo, and its size.

Oxymoronic, much?
Photo by Lorenia

The Cost of Laser Tattoo Removal

Laser tattoo removal is a sophisticated technology, which can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars.      There are certain factors that can affect the price of this tattoo removal procedure. Some of the cost-determining factors include size, type, and location of the tattoo, number of sessions required, and the expertise of the practitioner.

The price is usually calculated per square inch. For instance, a clinic can price the first five square inches for $49 per square inch. The succeeding six to 10 square inches is $25 per square inch while for 11 square inches and more, the price per square inch can be $15.

To determine the overall cost of your tattoo laser removal, you must consult a practitioner and get a price quotation of the overall procedure. After studying the size and kind of tattoo you have, you will be given a price per session and the number of treatment sessions required to gain satisfactory results. Here are a few examples of laser tattoo removal price estimates:

Removal of Upper Arm Tattoo

  • Size: 2 square inches
  • Cost per treatment: $98
  • Estimated number of treatments: 12
  • Total cost: $1,176

 Removal Neck Tattoo

  • Size: 3 square inches
  • Cost per treatment: $147
  • Estimated number of treatments: 7
  • Total cost: $1,029

Removal of Shoulder Tattoo

  • Size: 8 square inches
  • Cost per treatment: $320
  • Estimated number of treatments: 9
  • Total cost: $2,880

Removal of Upper Back Tattoo

  • Size: 15 square inches
  • Cost per treatment: $445
  • Estimated number of treatments: 7
  • Total cost: $3,115

Removal of Abdomen Tattoo

  • Size: 5 inches
  • Cost pet treatment: $245
  • Estimated number of treatments: 12
  • Total Cost: $2,940

Some clinics may offer discounts in line with a full purchase of a laser tattoo removal package. For instance, some may give a 25 percent off on the total price of a complete session. So instead of paying $3,115 for upper back tattoo removal, paying for the full package upfront will only cost $2,336.

Moreover, some clinics may have a minimum cost per visit. Usually, $75 is the minimum cost of tattoo removal per session. Hence, if you have a one-square inch tattoo, you will pay $75 per session. If the total number of sessions is 12, the total cost of removal is $900.

The Additional Costs of Laser Tattoo Removal

Unfortunately, the cost of laser tattoo removal does not end there. There are additional costs that come with this procedure. Other costs include local anesthetic shots and anesthetic creams.

Since the procedure can be uncomfortable, the practitioner can recommend anesthetic shots before the treatment and creams after the procedure. Anesthetic shots and creams are usually not included in the price per laser session. For instance, you will be charged $50 extra or more for a shot of anesthetic. The price of creams, on the other hand, depends on the kind of cream prescribed. Small-sized creams can range from $13 to $20 while bigger ones can be priced from $40 to $70. In the end,  how much it is going to cost to remove a tattoo depends on these pre and post laser procedure sessions.

Insurance Coverage of Laser Tattoo Removal

Though the cost of laser tattoo removal is obviously expensive, it is unfortunately not covered in most medical insurance plans. Since tattoo removal is considered a cosmetic procedure, most insurance plans do not cover it. Medicare, for one, does not generally reimburse laser resurfacing procedures such as this one. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule such as the following:

  • Removal of traumatic tattoos as a result of accidents can be covered.
  • Removal of decorative tattoos that are causing medical problems may be covered.

It is recommended that you talk to your physician and insurance company to find out whether the procedure can be covered or not. Take note of these following considerations used by insurance companies to say whether a procedure is medically necessary or not for coverage claims:

 

  • Lifestyle disruption. The daily activities of the patient must be significantly disrupted by the condition.
  • Pain. The patient must experience pain in accordance with the condition.
  • Failure of conservative measures. Other treatment methods to relieve the patient have failed.
  • Complications. If health threats such as infection are in the picture, insurance companies can be more inclined to consider the treatment as medically necessary.

Is it Worth it?

With all these costs involved with laser tattoo removal, some people question if it is worth all the pain and money to first get it, and then remove it. The answer is usually: it depends from person to person. As you know, there is a good chance that the tattoo will be completely removed from the skin. However, take note that not all tattoos can be totally erased. Some tattoos can just fade after the laser procedures. This is not to mention yet that there are certain side effects associated with laser tattoo removal. This includes hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, infection, and even permanent scarring.

Know whether you are a good candidate for this procedure or not. If you have dark skin, the removal can be a lot more difficult and the results may not be as good as those individuals with fair skin. The most successful laser tattoo removals focus on areas with more body fat such as the arms, buttocks, legs, and chest. Tattoos on ankles and fingers are often harder to treat and remove. To get a better estimate of your chances on succesful laser tattoo removal, it is best for you to talk to an unbiased practitioner.

Do you think laser tattoo removal is worth it?